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Teacher Colleges: Ensure America's teachers are prepared to teach children how to read.

This petition had 150 supporters

Reading failure is a national epidemic. 

One of the reasons for the high rate of reading failure is that most teachers never get trained in effective methods for teaching reading.  Right now 2 out of 3 teacher preparation programs in the U.S. are not teaching teachers the basic fundamentals of reading instruction. 

This is a huge disservice to future teachers and the children they will teach.  Reading is the gateway to all other learning—ensuring our teachers are prepared is our best defense against a child falling behind academically for years to come. 

It shouldn’t have to be like this.

Over a decade ago, the National Reading Panel analyzed hundreds of experimental studies and identified the five core components of effective reading instruction: explicit and systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

We can reduce the rate of reading failure to less than one in ten kids simply by using these well-researched methods.  While there are other important areas of reading instruction, these five components are fundamental. When colleges of education drop the ball, it is unfair to teachers and unfair to our kids. 

But teachers can’t teach what they don’t know.

On September 17, 2013, over 40 researchers and literacy experts published a letter in the Washington Post. They said teacher preparation programs are not arming teachers with the necessary skills to teach reading.

⋅           In a review of over 600 elementary teacher preparation programs, the National Council on Teacher Quality found only 29 percent were teaching reading fundamentals.

⋅           Rather than train teachers in the proven skills they need, programs instead encourage teachers to develop their own approach to teaching reading.

Every child should experience the joy of reading. Every child should have the chance to do well in school, to graduate, to make a choice about college and work.  Literacy is the key that unlocks those doors.

For these reasons, we are asking for your support.

Let’s send a resounding message to colleges of education: All young children deserve a teacher who can teach them to read!



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